09 Dec 2006

Timesthink

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Scientific fact threatening primitive superstition poses a hazard to remote indigenous tribes, proclaims this Sunday’s Times, in this weekly front-page sob story.

At issue is whether scientists who need DNA from aboriginal populations to fashion a window on the past are underselling the risks to present-day donors. Geographic origin stories told by DNA can clash with long-held beliefs, threatening a world view some indigenous leaders see as vital to preserving their culture.

They argue that genetic ancestry information could also jeopardize land rights and other benefits that are based on the notion that their people have lived in a place since the beginning of time.

Liberal egalitarianism rates not only naked savagery as equal to modern civilization, it also considers primitive cultures’ self-deluding myths as privileged from the challenge of fact.

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Niggling Jerk

This reminds me of right-wing Christians who believe the earth is just a few thousand years old, or who believe in Intelligent Design as a scientific theory equal to evolution. This clip doesn’t seem to show the paper taking a side, just reporting how delusional religous people think in general.



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